OPINION   
Editor's Note
Back and ahead
Of all the events that happened in Hong Kong in the past year, nothing could be more significant for Filipinos than the end of hostilities over the Luneta hostage crisis.

After nearly four years of uncertainty, at times made worse by angry rhetoric from politicians, cordial ties between Hong Kong and the Philippines were again restored. Details...

Anak Araw
Pagbabago
Ayon sa isang survey na Social Weather Stations kamakailan, 93 sa bawa't 100 Pilipino ay umaasa na mas maganda ang dating ng bagong taon.

Mas lilinaw ang sulyap natin sa pag-iisip ng Pilipino kung ihahambing mo ito sa isa pang SWS survey na nagpapakitang 52 sa bawa't 100 pamilyang Pilipino ay nagsabing sila ay mahirap, at 41 pamilya ang nagsabing naghihikahos sila sa pagkain. Details...

Migrant's Forum
Travelling tips for OFWs
Travelling between two countries is not the same as taking an aircon bus from Manila to Baguio. You have to make sure many things are in order before your intended trip. Here are some tips to ensure a hassle-free travel. Details...

Know Your Rights
The ILO Convention 189


(3rd Part)

In our last article, we discussed articles 1-7 of the ILO Convention 189 or C189. In this article we will discuss the succeeding articles of the C189 starting from Article 8.

It is clearly stated in C189 that a domestic worker must have a written job offer and an employment contract which is enforceable in the country where she or he will work. Article 7 enumerated essential components of the provisions of the employment contract to provide clear protection for the domestic worker. Details...

BUHAY PINAY   
Malungkot na bakasyon

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NEWS FROM HOME   
Filipinos eagerly await Pope Francis visit
Church bells will ring simultaneously at 5:45 p.m. on January 15 as a symbolic gesture of welcome to Pope Francis who will visit the Philippines until January 19.

The country eagerly awaits the arrival of the Holy Father as President Benigno Aquino III assures that the government prepares for worst-case scenarios, including the possibility of a terrorist attack and a stampede, during the papal visit.
See this month's stories...

COMMUNITY   
Applicants for the Intl Youth Exchange Programme sought
The SUN editor, as a member of Hong Kong's Committee for the Promotion of Racial Harmony, has been asked to endorse two ethnic minority youths as participants in the International Youth Exchange Programme (IYEP) for 2015-2016.
See this month's stories...

SPORTS   
Filipino softbelles get taste of defeat in top league

See this month's stories...

PINOY JOKES   
Kamukha

See this month's stories...

Chinese Horoscope   
Ano ang hatid ng Enero sa iyo

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Your Daily News   
  GMANews
  Phil. Daily Inquirer
  Manila Times

  May 2013 Hong Kong News   
Filipina appeals removal order to be with resident kid
A Filipina fighting to remain in Hong Kong to be with her underage daughter who holds permanent resident status here has elevated her battle to the Court of Appeal.

Milagros Tecson Comilang, a former domestic helper, has appealed a decision of the Court of First Instance rejecting her challenge to the Director of Immigration's repeated refusal to extend her permission to stay in the territory.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment after hearing arguments on Apr. 16.

The lower court ruling, which was handed down in June last year, also denied Comilang's petition for a judicial review of the Commissioner of Registration's rejection of her application for a Hong Kong permanent identity card.

The outcome of the case could have serious implications for all Filipino children who have been granted right of abode, but whose parents do not share this status. Such is the case of about two dozen children of Filipino domestic workers who were granted permanent residency about three to four years ago.

At the appeal hearing, Comilang's counsel, Gladys Li, SC, described the legal proceeding before Justices Peter Cheung, Frank Stock and Joseph Paul Fok as a special case involving a child who is underage, a minority and who requires the constant presence of a parent.

Comilang first came to the city in 1997. Shortly after her last contract was terminated on July 13, 2005, she underwent an Islamic marriage with a certain Shaker Ahmed, a Hong Kong permanent resident. She subsequently applied for a change of her immigration status to remain in the city as a dependant of her husband.

Pending the processing of her application, the Director of Immigration did not extend Comilang's permission to stay, which expired on Oct. 10, 2005.

Then, in February 2006, the already overstaying Comilang gave birth to Zahrah Ahmed, who acquired permanent resident status through her father and by virtue of her being born in Hong Kong.

Ahmed, the husband, was subsequently discovered to be in a subsisting marriage at the time he married Comilang. He later withdrew his sponsorship of the Filipina's change of status application.

Since then, Comilang has resisted several orders for her leave so she could stay with her daughter, whom she wants to remain in the territory to enjoy her rights as a permanent resident. The child is a co-applicant in the case.

While recognizing the state's right to control who stays in Hong Kong, Li argued that the immigration department should allow a custodial parent the right to stay in the interest of the child.

The Court, warned Li, should consider the impact of their decision because, in compelling Comilang to leave, the child essentially loses her right of abode.

Li also questioned the fairness of allowing unmarried children below 18 years of age to be dependants of parents, and yet denying the same right to a resident child and her parent.

On the other hand, Anderson Shek, counsel for the Director of Immigration, wanted the Court to clarify what a child's right of abode entailed.

"To what extent can (the child's right of abode) be relied upon (by) the mother (who has) no right of abode?" asked Shek.

Foreign nationals are allowed to sponsor their relatives as dependants. In exceptional cases, the Director of Immigration also has the discretion to allow other foreign nationals to stay in Hong Kong on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

However, in the appealed 50-page judgment, Presiding Justice Johnson Lam had stated that the courts will not lightly interfere with the Director's exercise of discretion and that "humanitarian considerations are not reviewable in courts" (Lau Kong Yung vs Director Immigration [1999]).

Judge Lam also ruled that it was not necessary for the court to come to any conclusion on the impact of the refusal of Tecson's extension of stay on the future of Zahrah Ahmed.

He further rejected the argument that Comilang needed to leave Hong Kong with her daughter, simply because she had custody of the child.

"The Family Court has jurisdiction to reconsider the question of custody when (Comilang) has to leave Hong Kong. One option is to grant custody to the father. Another option is to grant leave to relocation. It is entirely a matter for the Family Court to decide in view of the prevailing circumstances and the best interest of the child," said Justice Lam.


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